The 10th addition of the Confederations cup tournament kicked off on Saturday 17th June with hosts Russia grabbing a comfortable 2-0 victory against New Zealand at the Petersburg stadium.
The match started on a low note as Russia dominated most of the ball possession before Dennis Glushakov attempt towards goal found the help of sliding New Zealand’s defender Michael Baxall to cross the line in the 31st minute.
The second goal came after a nice built of play by Fedor Slomov who played it wide and kept his run to receive the ball at the blind side of defence which he easily tapped through with the outside of his boot to find the back of the net.
The other group A match pitted European Champions Portugal against North American Mexico. The match that was played at Kazan Arena saw the Portuguese taking the lead in the 34 minute after captain Christiano Ronaldo had to keep his head up on an one on one situation with a defender to find the lonely Ricardo Quaresma who teased the goal keeper and placed the ball at the back of the net for an opener.
The Mexicans came in with an equaliser three minutes before half time through Xavier Hernandez’s flying header which got the better of the Portuguese goalie. The pressing Portuguese took the lead again through right wing back Cedric who was set by slippery Mexican defence to tap home with a slight deflection making the score line 2-1.
The Mexicans made their bravery fight pay in the dying minutes of the match after Hector Moreno managed to battle off Portuguese defender Fonte from a corner kick for a clear header behind the goalkeeper for an equaliser to end the match 2-2.
Group B started with a late drama at Spartak Stadium with African Champions Cameroon falling 2-0 at the fit of South American Champions Chile. Cameroon survived the early shots of the first half with the goal keeper making some tremendous saves which kept his team in the game. The Chileans were kept shoulders down after Eduardo Vargas’ goal was disallowed for an off side by the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) before half time.
The Chileans who could not find any luck at goal introduced star player Alexis Sanchez in the second half who brought a lot of problems to the stubborn Cameroonian defence. Sanchez made his presents felt in the 81st after receiving the ball from the far left of the pitch to bring an inviting from with his right which found the head of the springing Arturo Vidal who directed it far from the goalkeeper for an opener.
With 90 plus minutes of play Sanchez managed to squeeze past the Cameroonian off side trap to dribble past the goalkeeper and blasted the ball against the defender before Vargas utilised on the rebound this time with the (VAR) on his side to make it 2-0.
More drama is expected today with a youthful Germany side playing against an experienced Australia at Fisht Stadium for their first Group B encounter.